By Vivien Diniz
PORTLAND, OR — Despite being one of the more bicycle-friendly cities in the US, bicycle and transportation activist Eleanor "Elly" Blue believes that Portland should move towards optimizing transportation options and accommodations for cyclists. “Portland has taken some awesome steps, but it still has a lot to learn,” said Blue.
To get the ball rolling, Blue and her partner, Microcosm Publishing founder Joe Biel, are organizing the Bikstravaganza: Off the Chainring bike culture tour.
The tour is designed to be a travelling bicycle summit that will bring together professionals and enthusiasts who want to improve transportation in their cities. The roadshow will travel across 10 different states in the Northwestern US. At each stop, Blue and Biel aim to start the conversation on how to make cities more bicycle-friendly. Blue describes the show as a way of “bringing people together who ordinarily would not have met and to learn what we could be doing to make cycling and transportation better in our cities.” The bike summit is not an intensive course in transportation planning, but rather a place for those involved or who want to get involved to discuss ways to make transportation better.
The first show will take place in Olympia, WA, on August 13, 2010. To kick things off, Biel will present a series of documentary videos and Blue will share photos that discuss the highs and lows of Portland’s bike movement and ways people can impact transportation infrastructure in any town. Both will encourage people to participate in open dialogues about what is important to them in terms of cycling, transportation and their cities.
To add to the aura of biking, a travelling store with a wealth of cycling related zines, books and movies will be made available to all. They want people to leave with “the feeling that they can make a difference.”
September 10 caps off the tour with a final stop in Portland, OR. Back on home turf, Blue and Biel plan to showcase what they have learned along the way.
For tour dates and locations, go to bikestravaganza.wordpress.com/dates
For more information about the Bikestravaganza: Off the Chainring Tour, visit bikestravaganza.wordpress.com